The recently launched “Energy Bag” Plastics-to-Energy pilot program co-sponsored by Dow Chemical Company, The City of Citrus Heights, Calif. and Sacramento-based Republic Services the waste management company for Citrus Heights, and the Flexible Packaging Association will demonstrate the viability of flexible packaging resource recovery as an end-of-packaging-life option. 

The co-sponsors of the three-month Energy Bag Program hope to show that resource recovery can achieve many positive long-term environmental and economic results, including reduced landfill, while creating more local energy resources.

“The FPA research in this area, including two recent resource recovery projects and trials run at Agilyx, a pyrolysis facility, provided information for the planning and decisions leading up to the Energy Bag initiative,” says FPA President Marla Donahue. “Sponsorship of the Energy Bag pilot is a great opportunity to demonstrate the viability of flexible packaging resource recovery.” The summer-long initiative will ask approximately 27,000 Citrus Heights households to separately collect, in bright purple energy bags, plastic items not currently eligible for recycling in the city. These items include juice pouches, candy wrappers, dog food and cat food bags, frozen food wrappers, outer wraps for water bottle or soda packages and even plastic dinnerware, plates and cups. The bag will be collected in the recycling bin, separated at the material recovery facility (MRF), and sent to Agilyx for the energy conversion.

FPA will produce a documentary video and “best practices” report at the conclusion of the pilot. These communication tools will be used to assist other communities and waste management companies that may be interested in implementing similar programs.